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What methods are best to learn a language? i.e a tutor? books? listening to audio?


Posted anonymously, 26th November 2016


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  • What language are you thinking off ?
    When I started dating my husband my English was very bad. Beside talking with him I wrote him daily love letters ;) using a Dutch-English dictionary. I didn’t have a computer or even a mobile phone so listening to audio’s was off. So for me it was through conversations, writing and using a dictionary.
    My sister worked as a linguist. Prior to moving to Mozambique and putting an Alphabet on the Koti Language she lived for 3 years in Portugal to prepare herself as the translation would go from Portuguese to Koti. She and her family lived in Mozambique for over 10 years following that.
    I have 2 nieces who grew up in Africa and are now studying in the Netherlands. They did an online course and now live in the Netherlands studying in Dutch.


  • Defenetly listening to audio


  • Sticky notes on your fridge, bathroom mirror work well. Pictures of things like a chair, table etc with the word in that language gives association which helps learning. As does a night you might dedicate to that culture, cook the food from that country, speak the language etc.


  • Duo Lingo is a free app that I have found very helpful. Daily practise is really important.


  • An app called MEMRISE
    it has so many languages to choose from and has multiple methods to help you learn and even some that make it into a fun game, I am using it to learn Japanese.


  • A combination of all, also there are great apps that help.


  • Some people have an au-pair at home that speaks another language to a child. Not something for me personally, but other people could consider it.


  • Watching television in original language. Start with cartoons with kids. Then series or movies, subtitled. The best way would be to go and live in a foreign country for a while, but that’s not always possible of course.


  • I find Audio the best! Too busy to fit anything else in really and great for listening to in the car, which is about the only place I get peace and quiet!


  • I went to school after work to learn Mandarin Chinese. It was great as you were able to converse with other students who were at the same level as you and your teacher was able to correct you for any mistakes you made.


  • I second watching movies in that language. It was how a family friend learnt another language whilst growing up his whole life in this country.


  • Attend a few lessons – in person or online – and then hang out with a native speaker.


  • A local class would be fun otherwise there are some fantastic apps out there now!


  • Some of each. Listen, repeat, learn, write and repeat again. Lots of listening and practice


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